X The Physiology of Everyday Life

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57 Metabolism and Nutrition
Ethan Nadel

The body's metabolism encompasses all of the chemical processes involved in energy production, energy release, and growth. These processes can be anabolic (formation of substances) or catabolic (breakdown). Ultimately, all energy contained in ingested nutrients manifests itself as either heat, work done on the environment, or growth. A healthy young man requires approximately 30 kcal per kg body weight to sustain resting metabolism for one day. Thus, a 70-kg man requires 2100 kcal/day, which is known as the resting metabolic rate (RMR). The amount of calories increases with increased activity, illness, or other stress. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a clinical definition for metabolism that is measured under standardized conditions in which the subject: (1) has had a full night of restful sleep, (2) has been fasting for 12 hours, (3) is in a neutral thermal environment (p. 1234), (4) has been resting physically for 1 hour, and (5) is free of psychic and physical stimuli. The BMR (units: kcal per hour and per square meter of body surface area) in adults is approximately 5% higher for males than for females and falls with age. The BMR is less than the RMR. The body's nutritional status influences the effectiveness of metabolic processes. Numerous vitamins, minerals, and other cofactors, along with water, contribute to the environment for cellular metabolism to function effectively and efficiently.
Printed from STUDENT CONSULT: Medical Physiology (on 28 August 2006) © 2006 Elsevier

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